As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt millions of lives across the country, we are learning more each day about the disease, its impact, and its disproportionate toll on vulnerable populations.
In this rapidly evolving environment, many of our partner organizations have seen their work take on additional urgency. Young people isolated at home face new threats to their mental health and well-being. Hourly workers without paid family and medical leave protections are being forced to make impossible choices between missing wages and protecting their health and the health their families. With children indefinitely out of school, Americans’ caregiving responsibilities—so often invisible in our society—are suddenly in the spotlight.
We have been inspired to see our partners and others rise to meet this moment in innovative ways—creating new resources to help young people prioritize their mental health
and access online support, connecting domestic workers to emergency funding
, advocating for expanded access to paid leave
, and educating workers about their rights
While we are adjusting our short-term priorities to ensure our partners have the flexibility they need to respond to this emergency—and soliciting their advice about how to best serve them during this time—we also remain committed to maintaining momentum on our longer-term goals to drive progress for women and families in the United States.
The world has learned from past epidemics that men and women experience disease outbreaks differently. COVID-19 appears to be killing men at significantly higher rates than women
, a troubling trend that underscores the need to collect gender disaggregated data throughout this crisis. We are also concerned by signs that the pandemic’s economic and social impacts will likely fall especially hard on women—who hold 76% of U.S. healthcare jobs
, 67% of minimum wage roles
, and shoulder the bulk of domestic and caregiving responsibilities
. In this context, the words “Equality Can’t Wait
” have taken on new meaning.
Our partners are quickly mobilizing to ensure that efforts to expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. continue moving forward, developing new short-term goals and tactics in real time. We recently celebrated a small but important victory when, thanks in part to advocacy from our partners, several major tech companies announced that they would shift to offering online internships this summer
—ensuring that a vital pathway into the industry for women and underrepresented people of color stays open.
“As a company dedicated to advancing social progress in the United States, we care deeply about ensuring that our country’s response to this crisis leaves no one behind,” Pivotal Ventures Chief Executive Officer John Sage recently wrote
In the weeks and months ahead, we will be searching for additional opportunities to help curb the impact of the pandemic on women and people of color in the U.S and support our partners in our shared mission to create a more equal future for all of us.